We all know the importance of LSD (long slow distance) and building a base of miles on our horses to build bone, muscle, and tendon. Most sources agree on at least a full season of LSD before moving into faster work. After this point the mainstay of LSD can become "junk miles" and takes a backseat to strength training. So what is strength training how would you determine if your horse is ready for it? Based on a season of riding slow either on the trail or at Limited Distance endurance events the horse's mileage for 12 weeks of conditioning (300-360 miles) and a summer of completions and subsequent conditioning between rides ( 400 miles) puts the average at about 760 miles of long slow work. At this point a person can decide they like doing what they are doing, and the result they are getting, and just keep up a base of conditioning to maintain the work they've done, or maybe they are thinking they aren't getting out of their horse and their rides what they want. Maybe there is something lack luster in the performance of the horse such as the horse running out of energy somewhere before the finish, or the horse fails to move up in placement despite diligent work on the part of the rider. Maybe it is time to turn your training and conditioning programs inside out because if you do what you've always done you will get what you've always had. Perhaps it is time for strength training.
What is strength training? Strength training is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. So how can we safely do this with a horse?
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association